Procurement comprises a significant portion of UW’s spending. With its purchasing decisions UW can endorse suppliers who are practicing sustainability; we aspire to have 100% of them aligned with our Supplier Code of Conduct. We are quickly working to incorporate students’ voices in purchasing decisions. As we work with campus units and departments to develop equitable purchasing targets, we will follow the state’s goals for minority- women- and veteran-owned businesses under the Results Washington strategic framework.

Target actions for 2021

Sustainability plan guiding principles

  •  Ensure students achieve sustainability literacy
  •  Choose our research conscientiously
  •  Keep equity and inclusion at the center
  •  Use resources responsibly
  •  Decarbonize

Historically, procurement has been perceived solely as a professional function, unrelated in any direct way to the university’s students. In recent years the power for purchasing decisions to express institutional values has become much more widely acknowledged. This plan strives to build a cohesive community stewarding social equity and physical environments; we have the opportunity to further promote social responsibility in our purchasing, and to engage our communities in this effort.

We will expand student presence in the UW Procurement Services office, with up to three students fulfilling intern, liaison or coordinator positions. This offers the dual win of on the one hand offering a very valuable opportunity to increase real-world learning for students; and on the other hand providing a well-structured pathway for students to influence purchasing choices. Through the Business Diversity and Equity Program, we will leverage the work of the Supplier Diversity RSO and partner for new opportunities to strengthen the visibility of local, minority, women-owned and tribal-owned businesses. Additionally, Procurement Services will identify “capstone” or “keystone” projects suitable for student teams, possibly in partnership with Foster School of Business Consulting and Business Development group, Program on

the Environment, or the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. Through the work of the Business Diversity & Equity program managed by UW Facilities, we will include student internships that are working on inclusion planning and sustainable purchasing.

Steps we will take in FY 2021

  1. Identify discrete projects to provide opportunities for student engagement, focusing on sustainability products and projects and supplier diversity reporting and guidance.

  2. Create two additional student positions within Procurement Services.

  3. Develop and test a system for receiving student concerns regarding purchasing values or ethics.

Responsible party

Procurement Services

Statuses and linkages

Procurement Services and the Business Diversity & Equity programs have student interns in place, and is well under way toward identifying additional student projects.


Funding for student positions in UW Procurement Services has been approved by UW Finance. Business Diversity & Equity (BDE) within UW Facilities funds student internships through a UW Endowment for diversity outcomes.


  • Student awareness of UW purchasing as measured by RSO engagement surveys; fall and spring quarter comparison.

  • Student participation and awareness in Supplier Diversity RSO events; annual comparison.

This action does not impact a STARS credit score directly.

The global recognition of the importance of purchasing, means that the world of equitable purchasing standards is expanding. UW aspires to have 100% of suppliers agreeing to our Supplier Code of Conduct.

In addition, our state government has offered a strategic framework, Results Washington, that includes a goal to increase state agency and educational institution utilization of certified small and diverse businesses in contracts and procurement to the following percentages:

  • Minority-owned businesses: 10 percent

  • Women-owned businesses: 6 percent

  • Veteran-owned businesses: 5 percent

UW Procurement Services will align its diversity contracting spend goals both with Results Washington and with diverse business spending goals for federal contracts. Supporting language will be incorporated in solicitation templates and forms. Started in FY19, Business Diversity & Equity began focusing on analyzing procurement and spend data to determine current levels and future goals. In FY2021 we will map a pathway to those goals, and begin laying out the iterative process for measuring progress.

Steps we will take in FY 2021

  1. Report the number of contract suppliers who have agreed to our Supplier Code of Conduct.

  2. Continue to report diversity spend across the enterprise.

  3. Publish report of 2nd tier diversity spend by large companies holding University contracts.

Responsible party

UWF Finance & Administration, Business Diversity & Equity

Statuses and linkages

Supplier Code of Conduct is published on Procurement Services website and included in many, but not all University contracts.

Reports have been obtained from major contract suppliers; reporting format for 2nd tier diversity spend is being finalized.


No additional financing needed in FY 2021.


  • Percentage of suppliers who have agreed to Supplier Code of Conduct.

  • Percentage of spend from diverse businesses relative to total spend.

This action addresses AASHE STARS 2.2 credit OP-11 Sustainable Procurement, in which UW has a points gap of 0.50.